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The Efects of Menstrual Cycle Phase on Exercise Performance in Eumenorrheic Women: A Systematic Review and Meta‑Analysis
1  Zhejiang Normal University
Academic Editor: Alyx Taylor (registering DOI)


Background: Concentrations of endogenous sex hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, which may affect a woman's athletic performance. Current data are conflicting and there is no consensus as to whether athletic performance is affected by the Menstrual Cycle stage.

Objective: To investigate the influence of menstrual cycle on women's exercise, and to provide evidence-based and practical suggestions for women's exercise performance.

Methods: This review followed the preferred reporting items of the Systematic review and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Four databases were searched for published experimental studies of the effects of menstrual cycles on lung ventilation as well as power output, including at least one outcome measure taken over two or more defined menstrual cycle phases. All data were meta-analyzed using a multi-level model based on Bayesian principle. The meta-analysis pooled paired effect sizes to compare lung ventilation in early follicular and mid-luteal stages and performance of motor power output in late follicular and mid-luteal stages. Study quality was assessed using a modified Down's and Black Checklist, and additional questions about menstrual cycle phase confirmation were identified.

Results: Data from 10 studies were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The results showed that the menstrual cycle had no significant effect on women's athletic performance based on the analysis of lung ventilation and power output at different stages of menstruation. Comparison of lung ventilation between early follicular phase and middle luteal phase (ES0.5=-0.49 [95%CRI: -1.17 to 0.19]) and power output between late follicular phase and middle luteal phase (ES0.5=-0.12 [95%CRI: −5.92, 5.68]). The quality of the literature reviewed was classified as "medium".

Conclusions: The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis showed that the menstrual cycle stage had no significant effect on women's athletic performance.

Keywords: 月经周期;锻炼表现;Meta‑Analysis;Eumenorrheic Women